Establishing Supervised Injecting Facilities: A Responsible Way to Help Minimise HarmMalkin Ian (2001)
The trial of supervised injecting facilities is one of a number of strategies that should be employed to address the problems associated with street-based injection drug use in Australia. In this article, it is proposed that these facilities should be trialled in view of their success overseas in lowering the incidence of drug overdose, in preventing the transmission of blood-borne diseases and in reducing public nuisance. It is argued that Australia’s health-related human rights obligations under international law require the trial of supervised injecting facilities. Contrary to the arguments of some, the various drug-related treaties to which Australia is a party accommodate the establishment of supervised injecting facilities. The early success of a supervised injecting facility in New South Wales augurs well for the prospects of decreasing the incidence of overdose and blood-borne disease among street-based injecting drug-users by adopting an approach to drug policy that is based on principles of harm minimisation.